- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The last Tampa Bay quarterback to sleep late was shown the door. That's not going to happen to Mike Glennon.
Former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman lost his starting job and eventually was released after repeatedly being late. That's why it's a little ironic that coach Greg Schiano ordered Glennon, the rookie who replaced Freeman, to sleep a little late on Tuesday. Normally, Glennon is in early on Tuesdays to start going through the game plan. But, this week, Schiano told Glennon to take the morning off and show up in the afternoon.
"We gave him off just because we wanted to make sure he got some rest," Schiano said. "He's been working so hard and he's been getting hit. He's been playing against some really good fronts and he's been taking shots. I liken it to being in a car accident. When you get hit by these 300-plus-pound defensive linemen, it's not very unlike being in a car accident, except we ask you to get up and play the next play. When it happens over and over again, you want to give the guy a little rest."
The other thing that jumped out of Schiano's session with the media Wednesday was how fondly he talked of Glennon. That seldom happened with Freeman. Schiano's reluctance to say Freeman was a franchise quarterback at the end of last season was a precursor to what happened early in the season.
But it's obvious Schiano feels warmly about Glennon, who he unsuccessfully tried to recruit to Rutgers. Even though Glennon hasn't put up big statistics the past two games, Schiano was singing the rookie's praises, something the coach rarely did with Freeman.
"I think he's doing a heck of a job of playing the quarterback position within this offense," Schiano said. "There's a lot to in this offense. I think he's progressing. I think he's understanding things better and better. We're playing better defenses each week. It's become more of a challenge for a rookie quarterback without a doubt. But I'm pleased with his progress and we just have to keep moving him on that trajectory."
Glennon had to face good Carolina and Buffalo defenses the past two weeks and he has to face a strong San Francisco unit this week.
"I think these games are helping to sharpen the saw, so to speak, and help him to get better and better," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "You wish there was a magic button you could push and instantly he's gotten it and he's grown and he has it all together. I think we're seeing, while there may be some setbacks and some decisions he'd like to have back, I think at the end of the day the arrow continues to go up with him."